Historic Westside School Timeline

Located in the historic Westside, the “Las Vegas Grammar School Branch No. 1” was built in 1923 on land donated by Helen J. Stewart to the Clark County School District. The building was the first grammar school in west Las Vegas and is the oldest remaining schoolhouse in Las Vegas today.


1923
1924 – 1935

The first school principal was Ms. Ruth Fyfe, serving from 1924 to 1935.

Sometime between 1926 and 1927, the 1st African-American students attended Westside School and studied in racially integrated classes; a first time experience for many.


1926
1928

The original building was constructed in the Mission-Revival style. The first expansion of the school occurred in 1928 with the addition of two classrooms, for 3rd and 4th grade, in the back.

Westside-class

Westside School was the first school for racially integrated classes. Integrated education was a result of two major waves of migrants to the Las Vegas area.


1930s – 1940s
1942

New Westisde USO plans to open.

Plans had been set in motion for the addition of the Jefferson Pool Building.


1944
1946

Westside USO Expansion. Westside recreation area was developed sometime after the 1946 swimming pool addition, but before the recreation building construction project in 1955.

1946 westside USO expansion

The Westside School complex continues to expand and evolve with the addition of eight block classrooms to the original school building in 1948.


1948
1950

The 1950s kicks off with a building boom in response to the flourishing gaming, entertainment and tourism industries. The 1950s was also a time for improvement and growth for the Westside School.

1950 8th Grade Class 1950 8th Grade Class. Photo courtesy of Brenda Williams

After years of segregation under the Jim Crow laws, civil rights legislation established integration policies in the 1960s. Although African-Americans frequented businesses outside of their community, members of the white population did not return the support.


1960s
1967

It is not confirmed that the closing of the Westside Grammar School was due to the economic decline , but it is certain that the school was on its path to disrepair. In 1967 the school was officially phased out of use.

The School Board of Trustees declared Westside School to be surplus property and adopted a resolution to sell it at the appraised market value of $25,000.


1974
1975

In 1975, the first attempts to salvage the Westside School were made by the Economic Opportunity Board (EOB). The EOB purchased the Westside School for $25,000 and used the remaining funds for preliminary restoration of the block structure.

In 1979, the Westside School was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This same year improvements were made to the parking and lighting on the site.


1979
1990s – present

The city of Las Vegas is in the planning stages to restore the historic Westside School. The city is currently coordinating the collection of historical documents and photographs of the school, teachers and students.

current photo Westside school Today the building houses KCEP, a public nonprofit radio station